Basque Sheepherder's Bread - Just Dutch Oven Recipes

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Basque Sheepherder's Bread

3 c Hot Water
1/2 c Butter
1/2 c Sugar 2 1/2 ts Salt
2 pk Yeast 9 1/2 c Flour; Approximate
Salad oil

In bowl, combine hot water, butter, sugar and salt. stir until butter melts and let cool to warm. Stir in yeast and cover and let yeast get bubbly, about 15 minutes. Add 5 cups flour and beat with heavy duty mixer or wooden spoon to form a thick batter. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour ( 3 1/2 cup ) to form a stiff dough.. turn out to floured board and knead smooth and elastic about 10 minutes. Turn dough over in a greased bowl and cover and let rise double in a warm place. ( 1 1/2 hrs ) . Punch down and form into a smooth ball.

Cut a circle of foil to cover bottom of dutch oven. grease insides of dutch oven and underside of lid with salad oil. Place dough in pot and cover with lid. Let dough rise in a warm place until dough pushed up lid about 1/2 inch.( about 1 hour but watch closely ). Bake covered with lid, in 375 oven for 12 minutes. Remove lid and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow. Remove from oven and turn out onto rack ( you may need a helper ) makes 1 very large delicious soft white bread.

If you can wait till its warm, use a long bread knife to cut this delicious bread.